News

European players unite forces and visibility in the race for the hydrogen and fuel cells economy!

20 July 2017

The European association of research organisations active in fuels cells and hydrogen (FCH), N.ERGHY, decided to change its name to Hydrogen Europe Research at last week’s general assembly and to work hand in hand with Hydrogen Europe, its industry association counterpart. Hydrogen Europe has, in parallel during its general assembly in June, created an additional board seat for the President of Hydrogen Europe Research. This will ensure better coordination and follows a similar move from major European national and regional FCH associations who joined Hydrogen Europe last autumn, and are now also represented in Hydrogen Europe’s board.

Hydrogen Europe will therefore now be the common banner at European level under which three pillars – 107 industrial companies (large groups as well as SMEs), 68 research organizations, and 8 national associations – will together develop and promote FCH technologies, as well as push for the right regulatory framework across EU Member States.  Each pillar will keep its current organisation (industry association, research association and national associations) and maintain its daily operations.

Over the past 10 years the European Commission and the private sector have co-financed a total of 1.5 billion Euros for the development of the European FCH ecosystem via a Joint Undertaking, the FCHJU, which allocates grants every year to demonstration and R&I projects. This European dynamic creates of course additional investment beyond the FCH-JU. Today, for every Euro of public money spent, the private sector invests 3.5 Euros. European governments are also backing these efforts. We now see tangible benefits of this partnership and the existence of a strong Hydrogen Europe community, as world leader positions have been reached in the field of electrolyzers, hydrogen refilling stations, hydrogen buses, but also hydrogen trains, the first of which came on to tracks last year.

“In January with the support of Hydrogen Europe, CEOs of 13 Fortune 100 companies launched the Hydrogen Council at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where they stated that hydrogen will undoubtedly be part of the future of energy systems. In February, Japan expressed its ambition to become the world leader in the hydrogen economy, in a full page Financial Times article. Today, ahead of COP 23, uniting all players of the hydrogen and fuel cells ecosystem in Europe under one banner in order to encourage global partnerships and further promote this new energy vector as a way to decarbonize the planet is a natural and essential move” says Raphaël Schoentgen, Chairman of Hydrogen Europe.

“Over the past 15 years, we have seen great developments across our European labs bringing new technology bricks that can make a difference both in terms of increasing the efficiency of our systems and also bringing the costs of production down. It is now essential that we accelerate the transfer of technological innovations from our labs into products that can be brought rapidly to the market by our industrials, as accelerated innovation is the ultimate solution to climate change” says Laurent Antoni, President of N.ERGHY.

HYDROGEN EUROPE Annual Report 2016 released

29 May 2017

HYDROGEN EUROPE has released its latest Annual Report for the past year.

You can find it by clicking on the following link.

Screenshot 2017-05-30_11-28-00

Annual Report 

UK’s zero emission bus deployment plans gain momentum

28 April 2017

HYDROGEN EUROPE - logo Jive-DEF-02

London, UK, 28th April 2017: Transport for London (TfL) has recently launched a tender for the bulk procurement of fuel cell buses. Working in partnership with other UK cities (Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee), TfL is inviting potential suppliers of fuel cell buses to join a framework for the supply of single and double decker vehicles to cities across the UK and potentially further afield.

The procurement activity is part of the JIVE project, an EU funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. The project is coordinated by Element Energy. Ben Madden, Director of Element Energy said: “The launch of this joint procurement exercise is an important milestone for the JIVE project and the fuel cell bus sector as a whole. Taking a coordinated approach to purchasing large numbers of these buses should deliver increased standardisation and significant cost reductions, allowing the cities to realise their ambitious zero emission bus adoption plans. We are delighted to have helped start this programme and look forward to continuing to support the partners in delivering the project.”

About the JIVE project

The JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project seeks to deploy 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses and associated refuelling infrastructure across five countries. JIVE will run for six years from January 2017 and is co-funded by a 32 million euro grant from the FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation.

The overall objective of JIVE is to advance the commercialisation of fuel cell buses through large-scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure so that by the end of the project, fuel cell buses are commercially viable for bus operators to include in their fleets without subsidy, and that local and national governments feel empowered to regulate for zero emission propulsion for their public transport systems.

JIVE will introduce new fleets of fuel cell buses into urban and regional bus operations at an unprecedented scale. This will be made possible by multiple cities and regions collaborating in joint procurement processes, allowing large orders to be placed with single bus suppliers. The procurement activities are organised into three clusters and by clustering geographically, it is possible to provide common specifications for the buses, which is essential to unlock the economies of scale.

Read the complete Press Release here.

Hydrogen Europe joins 92 Industry Associations signing Joint Declaration for an ambitious industrial strategy

17 February 2017

Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors.

The European manufacturing industry has tremendous capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe.

The time has come to raise the alarm about the considerable challenges that we are all facing. Between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014. Meanwhile, countries around the world are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas. The “Make in India” strategy aims to ensure India is “the next manufacturing destination” and “Made in China 2025” seeks to turn China into the “leading manufacturing power”. The recent US shift towards “America First” will inevitably have a strong impact on their industrial policy.

At the beginning of his mandate, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified the reindustrialisation of Europe as one of his top priorities and confirmed the objective of increasing the share of industry in the European GDP to 20% by 2020. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital for the European Commission to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial power playing in a fairer world market.

Therefore we, the European manufacturing industry, representing a diverse range of sectors, call on the European Commission to:

  • reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
  • adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
  • commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.

Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen and modernise the EU’s industrial base (15 December 2016) and the Parliament Resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (5 October 2016).

We, the Signatories of this Joint Declaration, are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.

Download the Declaration here!

Interview with Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the FCH2 JU

14 February 2017

In a few weeks it will be nearly a year that you are the Executive Director of the FCH JU. How do you see the recent development of the JU?
2016 was in my view the year of change for the FCH-JU. Nearly the complete Governing Board and the program office management changed faces.
This change gave a new and positive impulse to the FCH-JU. One of my priorities was to reach out to new audiences beyond the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen sector.
I truly believe we succeeded in this by the initiative we took with the Cities and Regions, by inviting other sectors to speak at the stakeholder forum and by actively
communicating our success stories through printed and social media. In general the FCH-JU became more visible to the outside world and listened carefully to all our precious stakeholders.
Another priority was to become a real knowledge hub for the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen world and for this knowledge management is a key feature.
In 2016 it was the first time that project data was gathered from the projects and compared to the KPI’s that are set for the FCH-JU.
The conclusion is that we are on our way to achieve most of those targets however more effort will be required to achieve the cost targets.
Therefor the call topics in 2017 focus in research on game changer technologies and low TRL basic research and in demonstrations the aim is to get bigger numbers deployed.

You organised quite recently the Info days and started a brokerage process between stakeholders. What was the outcome in your view?
The event was very successful, there was a huge interest and we actually had to rent additional chairs to be able to give everyone a seat.
There were 133 attendees on site and since we used web streaming for the first time we had also up to 64 on-line participants.
We noticed that among those there were a lot of new companies, researchers and public institutions which shows to me that
the interest and awareness of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in Europe is growing. For the newcomers in the FCH-JU program
the brokerage event was a good chance for networking. The feedback of the attendees was really positive and
I believe that this will result in strong consortia with very good proposals on our calls.

What are the issues that the JU focuses on in the upcoming year?
In 2017 we will celebrate our 10th anniversary of the stakeholder forum and will be off course one of the highlights of the year.
Further we will continue strengthening our communication efforts and outreach activities together with Hydrogen Europe and the EC.
For the knowledge management a new more user-friendly tool will be launched to gather the project data and
I would like to ask to all coordinators to make big effort to gather and share the results with the FCH-JU.
This data is crucial to show the success of the FCH-JU program. In 2017 the Multi Annual Work Plan for the next 3 years will be revised
and we will also be looking into new applications where Fuel Cells and Hydrogen have potential.

What’s your main advise to companies when starting to draft proposals?
Please read the call topics very carefully, every word has a meaning. Some of the topics recommend focusing on the EU supply chain or on international cooperation or on EU 13 countries,
please consider this deeply when drafting your proposals. In general I advise to think first what the project could bring for the European society and the FCH community and only in a second order
for you as an individual company or research institute.

How do you see the development of Hydrogen Europe?
I really welcome the recent changes that Hydrogen Europe made on the one hand by hiring their own staff with the required skills and know-how
and on the other hand to integrate the National Associations. In this way Hydrogen Europe becomes a real strong European association for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Sector
and a recognised partner for European and National policy makers to consult when drafting new legislations.

What’s your vision for hydrogen and fuel cells?
My vision for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells is to make the difference in our society by becoming the solution for the decarbonisation of the energy and transport sector.

 

B.Biebuyck-ED FCH JU

About Bart Biebuyck:

Bart Biebuyck graduated in 1998 from the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN) in the Netherlands with a bachelor’s degree in “Automotive Engineering”.  He joined Toyota Motor Europe in January 1999, starting in the Powertrain Group where he worked on improving the Easydrive Transmissions for Europe.

In 2003 he went on assignment to Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan where he joined the PSA-Toyota Small Vehicle Development Project which resulted in the launch of the Toyota AYGO in 2006. After a two year spell in Japan, he returned to Toyota’s European headquarters in Brussels and was appointed Project Leader for the first automatic transmission in a diesel passenger car designed for the European market. The first car to feature this transmission was the 2008 Avensis, followed by the RAV4 and Verso.

In 2007 he became Manager of the Easydrive Transmissions applications team for the European market where he was responsible for the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) trials in Europe. Further building on his expertise in this field, he started supporting the European trials for the Toyota FCHV-adv (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle) in 2010 as part of the CEP (Clean Energy Partnership) programme in Berlin.
In 2011 he was promoted to the role of Senior Manager for the department responsible for various transmission applications for conventional and hybrid vehicles for the European market. In this function he supervised the technical aspects of introducing new technologies such as PHV, FCHV and EV (electric vehicles) in the European market.
In 2012 the drivetrain design department was added to his responsibilities.
In 2013 he became Technical Senior Manager, focussing on the Fuel Cell Vehicle development and market introduction.

 

Interview with Denis Thomas, new member of Hydrogen Europe’s board and EU Regulatory Affairs & Business Development for renewable hydrogen at Hydrogenics Europe.

31 January 2017

Denis, you recently joined the Board of Hydrogen Europe. Can you please introduce yourself to our members?

I am in charge of EU Regulatory Affairs & Business Development activities for renewable hydrogen at Hydrogenics, a world-wide leading provider of electrolyzers, hydrogen refueling stations and hydrogen fuel cells. Apart from my activities at Hydrogen Europe, I also represent Hydrogenics at the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) and the European Power-to-Gas Platform.

As the representative taking care of our member companies: What are your priorities?

Concerning the membership, I believe it is essential for Hydrogen Europe to strengthen the link with our members and create additional value of being a member of the association. The exact strategy will be decided in the coming weeks by the Board but I have a few ideas, mainly inspired from my previous experience is another Industry Association. First, I suggest organizing a quick survey to understand the expectations from our members, what is appreciated and what should be improved. Based on the results of this survey a more precise action plan would be established over the coming months. The strategy should be focused on the satisfaction from the existing members and on acquiring new members. To do this, we will need to improve our communication channels, especially through a new professional website with a dedicated member area. I think it also important to inform better our members on the Annual Working Plan to make sure our members know how to integrate this process in the most efficient way. Finally, I believe the networking between our members should be stimulated through various actions or events.

How do you see your role in the Association?

On top of being responsible for the membership, I want to ensure that our association is not working alone in its corner. Hydrogen is a transversal topic in our energy system as it touches the power, gas, industry and transport sectors. I am stimulating everyday cooperation with other associations in Brussels to create synergies and allies. By exchanging more information with them, our positions will be better understood, smarter and aligned with our peer associations such as EASE, Solar Power Europe, Wind Europe, Eurogas, T&E and many others… To be honest, I am always surprised by the lack of knowledge of the others associations in Brussels on hydrogen. How do you want them to support hydrogen if they don’t really understand what we can deliver? Keeping close contact with them and delivering clear messages will be key to achieve this goal.
Hydrogenics has been an active member of our association for many years.

How do you see the transition process of Hydrogen Europe?

We welcomed the transition from New-IG to Hydrogen Europe which is a clear message to our stakeholders that our industry is moving from research and demonstration to market. At the same time, the focus of the association is widening with more market creation activities and advocacy work. Hydrogen Europe has increased its internal staff from 2 to 5 people which again is a clear sign we want to play an important role in Brussels in bringing hydrogen at the core of the energy transition. In short, a lot happened in terms of organization of the association over the last two years. Over the next 2 years, we need now to make sure EU policy makers will adopt hydrogen as the missing link between the power, gas, industry and transport sectors.

As Board member you are also making the link with the newly created Advocacy Task Force. What are the most important elements in this field?

We are now at a crucial moment in terms of EU regulation with the publication of the “EU winter package” which will determine the energy landscape in the EU between 2020 and 2030. Intense discussions are taking place in Brussels over the next months. Hydrogen Europe has a critical role to play here. We can already be satisfied to see so many references to hydrogen in the proposed text by the Commission, showing the role of hydrogen in the energy transition has been recognized. However, the proposed text does not bring yet the legal framework we need for hydrogen to create a real strong and sustainable market. In this package, the new Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is critical for hydrogen as it sets the foundations of the role of hydrogen in linking renewable power, renewable heat and renewable fuels of non biological origin. One key element to tackle in the coming weeks is how to define renewable (or green) hydrogen and how can we establish a certification mechanism which will ensure accuracy, transparency and achievement of the environment goals set by the EU.

What are the issues that your company Hydrogenics focuses on?

As you probably know, Hydrogenics exists for more than 20 years with production facilities in Belgium, Germany and Canada. We have demonstrated the maturity and robustness of the technology of electrolysers and fuel cells successfully in a variety of applications. The majority of the projects realized in Europe were possible thanks to funding. Our focus is now to reduce the cost of the technology while maintaining the highest level quality and safety. In parallel, we invest a lot of time at national, European and global level to create the appropriate market conditions for a hydrogen economy. Our main targets are policy-makers and leading companies in the energy field.

What’s your vision for hydrogen and fuel cells?

Our vision is quite simple. We are convinced hydrogen technologies have reached the level of maturity needed for large scale market deployment, with still a significant cost reduction potential. At the same time, a real tsunami of renewable power is being installed in all geographies. If governments want to reach their COP21 targets, they need to push further renewables in the power sector and they need to decarbonize significantly the heating and the transport sectors. There is no doubt that only hydrogen offers the means to achieve this high level of decarbonization in all sectors, if produced from renewables. The most important is making sure our policy makers understand it!

About Denis Thomas:

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Denis Thomas is in charge of EU Regulatory Affairs & Business Development activities for renewable hydrogen at Hydrogenics.He joined Hydrogenics in 2014 and coordinated the project ‘Power-to-Gas roadmap for Flanders’. Before, he worked 8 years in the solar photovoltaic sector in Belgium for various companies and at European level within the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. He holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from HEC Liège (Belgium) and a European Master Degree in Renewable Energy followed in Oldenburg (Germany) and Zaragoza (Spain).

Interview with Werner Diwald, Chairman of DWV (German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association)

24 January 2017

Werner, why did the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (“DWV”) join Hydrogen Europe?
The DWV is convinced that it needs a strong and competent voice for hydrogen technology and business in Brussels. Only coordinated efforts, will enable us to create the necessary conditions for a targeted and sustainable energy policy on the European level and subsequently on the national level.

What is the main focus of the DWV?
The DWV considers hydrogen to be the all-connecting element and key technology of the energy transition, since it allows for the coupling of the different energy sectors, namely electricity, heating and transport. Hence, hydrogen plays a crucial role for the success of the energy transition and the convergence of the energy and transport systems. It is therefore a central element of our association’s strategic planning and therefore of utmost importance to us. In 2017 our association will mainly focus on the following:
1. Promote regulations for a business for Power-to-Refinery
2. Impact of sector coupling on the efficiency of the energy sector
3. Advocating FCH technologies with respect to the upcoming German elections (September 2017)  and the new government
4. Coherent proposals regarding the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).

How will the DWV contribute to Hydrogen Europe?
The DWV would like to share its long-standing experience on the field of German research, standardization procedures and market launch strategies in order to efficiently support the work of Hydrogen Europe. Moreover, looking at the connection of renewable energies with the hydrogen economy we would like to contribute with our vast professional experience. In addition, the DWV wants to offer its excellent political network, in order to communicate and place joint positions, in the political landscape.

Are there differences between the German and the European associations?                                                                                                        We believe that we have a common goal. But, of course, the work between Berlin or the other member states and Brussels differs. Consequently, we felt it was more than necessary to focus and professionalize our activities by cooperating closely with Hydrogen Europe in Brussels.

Where do you work in the field of hydrogen technologies?
The main focus of my work as Chairman of the DWV, is the strategic orientation of the association and the monitoring of the political processes. We focus on requirements for sustainable and secure business cases. In addition, I represent the interests of our members in public and political discussions and in different working groups.

What is your vision for hydrogen and fuel cells?
In 2050, hydrogen and the related technologies and applications, will be one of the key energies in our energy system – hydrogen will become what crude oil was in 1990. The difference however is, that hydrogen will not plunge us into geopolitical conflicts and will not cause climate damage.

About Werner Diwald:

Werner-Diwald-DWV

Werner Diwald is the speaker of the Board of “Deutsche Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellen-Verband (DWV) e.V.”, spokesman of the “performing energy” Think-Tank. After 18 years of professional experience in the field of the development of system components for wind turbines, in 2011 he built up the ENERTRAG HyTec GmbH, today McPhy Energy Deutschland GmbH, which develops and manufactures electrolysers. In 2013 he founded the consulting company ENCON.Europe GmbH.

FCH JU call for proposals 2017 published

19 January 2017

The FCH JU has published its call for proposals for 2017 with an indicative budget of EUR 116 M.  The opening of a new call for proposals translates the core mission of the FCH JU into a key action, adding a stepping stone into the path towards accelerating commercialisation of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies.The key challenges encompass different areas of research and innovation for each of the Transport and Energy pillars, as well as Cross-Cutting activities.

A total of 24 topics will be part of the call for proposals, including 7 for Transport, 12 for Energy and 5 for Cross-Cutting. See the overview here.

The financial support will be divided between projects from different areas of research and innovation for each of the transport and energy pillars, as well as cross-cutting activities.

The FCH JU will hold its Open Info Day & Brokerage Event in Brussels on the 2nd February. This one-day event will be the occasion for potential applicants to receive further insight into the description of the topics and rules for participation.

This year’s edition will offer an innovative programme as a special brokerage session will integrate the agenda, with the purpose of facilitating new cross-border contacts and initiate collaborations.

This event will take place at the White Atrium, Avenue de la Toison d’Or 56-60, B-1060 Brussels.

Registration will be open from Monday 16/01/17 until Monday 30/01/17.
Don’t miss it!

VIEW the Programme of the Event

VIEW the FCH JU Annual Working Plan 2017 

HYDROGEN COUNCIL launched in Davos

18 January 2017

Excellent news for the hydrogen and fuel cell community at the beginning of 2017: Thirteen leading energy, transport and industry companies have today launched a global initiative to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition. The CEOs of the participating companies used the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos to kick off this important activity.

In the first global initiative of its kind, the ‘Hydrogen Council’ is determined to position hydrogen among the key solutions of the energy transition. The move to create the ‘Hydrogen Council’ was initiated by Hydrogen Europe, it’s initial Secretary General is Hydrogen Europe’s former Chairman Pierre-Etienne Franc. The Council will work with, and provide recommendations to, a number of key stakeholders such as policy makers, business and hydrogen players, international agencies and civil society to achieve these goals.

During the launch, members of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ confirmed their ambition to accelerate their significant investment in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors. These investments currently amount to an estimated total value of €1.4 Bn/year. This acceleration will be possible if the key stakeholders increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.

The ‘Hydrogen Council’ is currently made up of 13 CEOs and Chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to help achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 degrees Celsius target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The international companies currently involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota.

Benoît Potier, CEO of Air Liquide and Chair of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ commented:  “The 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change is a significant step in the right direction but requires business action to be taken to make such a pledge a reality. The Hydrogen Council brings together some of the world’s leading industrial, automotive and energy companies with a clear ambition to explain why hydrogen emerges among the key solutions for the energy transition, in the mobility as well as in the power, industrial and residential sectors, and therefore requires the development of new strategies at a scale to support this. But we cannot do it alone. We need governments to back hydrogen with actions of their own – for example through large-scale infrastructure investment schemes. Our call today to world leaders is to commit to hydrogen so that together we can meet our shared climate ambitions and give further traction to the emerging Hydrogen ecosystem.”

The Co-Chair of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ and Chairman of Toyota, Takeshi Uchiyamada said: The Hydrogen Council will exhibit responsible leadership in showcasing hydrogen technology and its benefits to the world. It will seek collaboration, cooperation and understanding from governments, industry and most importantly, the public. At Toyota, we have always tried to play a leading role in environmental and technological advances in the automotive industry, including through the introduction of fuel cell vehicles. Moreover, we know that in addition to transportation, hydrogen has the potential to support our transition to a low carbon society across multiple industries and the entire value chain. The Hydrogen Council aims to actively encourage this transition.”

A report entitled ‘How Hydrogen empowers the energy transition’  – commissioned by the Hydrogen Council –  sets out the vision of the Council and the key actions it considers fundamental for policy makers to implement, to fully unlock and empower the contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition. You will find the full report by clicking here.

Hydrogen Europe will continue to be an active partner of this initiative together with our American friends from the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA). Of course we will keep you informed of any ongoing activity.

Happy New Year!

16 January 2017
On behalf of the board of Hydrogen Europe we would like to convey our best wishes for a successful new year!
2017 will determine the course of many parts of our sector, which is why we will accelerate the transition process of our Association. For us it will be of utmost importance to get engaged into the changes in different market developments. The transition of Hydrogen Europe will go on, we still feel very much in a „take off mode“.
We all understand that the energy policy on European level but also in many member states is looking for new solutions. The time has come to turn the need for a „game changer” into tangible successes for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. In order to get there we are committed to the following steps:
Step 1) Taking stock: Where do we stand  today with each application? Which technologies are matured, ready for deployment and meet or could create market demand?
Step 2) Our reality check should lead to some priority projects: The sector needs alignment when it comes to public funding of urgent necessities and matured technologies to use market opportunities.
Step 3) We need to advocate an appropriate legal framework: The “Winter Package” presented by the Commission end of November needs regulatory adaptations if we want our priority projects to succeed in the market.
Step 4) Last but not least we need to create tools for an approved interaction between ourselves and with the public: We will establish a common online portal of the sector to enhance internally a better cooperation and communication and externally a better visibility and recognition.
The objective of our advocacy program for the upcoming year is to create political recognition for Hydrogen Europe. We aim to position the association as one of the game changers in transformational technology for priority fields such as energy, mobility and industry. Our Advocacy Task Force that has been set up very rapidly since last summer is definitely on the good tracks to deliver a high-level advocacy work in Brussels and we have to thank all of the 16 member companies that contribute to our work. The positions and papers produced so far have helped greatly reaching out to decision makers and this effort will be continued.
All these challenges will be tackled with a new team. With continued support from FTI, who has been supporting for the past six years, we endeavour to master the remaining part of Hydrogen Europe’s transition with the growth of our own team. Next to our Secretary General Jorgo Chatzimarkakis and our Operating Director Nicolas Brahy three new faces will enrich our team: Sabrine Skiker, Janni Moraitis and Nicolas Kraus will work on our studies, event-management, communication and advocacy and last but not least our administration.
Welcome to Hydrogen Europe guys, 2017 is the year to take the bull by the horns! Of course the FTI Team (Ivana, Joost, Stephen, Ivan and Bronagh) continue to work hard with us.
Let’s work for the success of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. We wish you peace, joy, and fulfilment in 2017.

Happy New Year!

Raphaël Schoentgen, Andreas Frömmel, Valérie Bouillon-Delporte, Didier Pfleger, Denis Thomas, Nils Aldag, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Nicolas Brahy

Hydrogen Europe welcomes the Winter Package

01 December 2016

Hydrogen Europe welcomes the Winter Package which was published by the European Commission yesterday. In order to meet climate change mitigation targets, the energy system needs to include significantly more renewable energy sources by coupling the different sectors. The Winter Package paves the way to achieve this. Read our press release.

Hydrogen Europe’s Board Welcomes 3 New Members

On 24 November the Hydrogen Europe General Assembly elected three new Board Members. The posts were filled by Sunfire’s Nils Aldag as the Energy Chair, Denis Thomas of Hydrogenics who secured the Membership and Joint Undertaking Commitment Chair and Werner Diwald who became the first Chair of the recently formed Association Pillar. Chairman Raphael Schoentgen thanked outgoing Board Members, Katharina Beumelburg and Thomas Melczer, for their remarkable dedication and contributions to the Association’s successes over the past few years. Read the press release.

Four Questions with Hydrogen Europe Treasurer, Didier Pfleger

10 November 2016

Didier, over the summer you were elected as the new treasurer of Hydrogen Europe – welcome. You have an incredibly relevant breadth of experience on your CV. Can you tell our members a bit more about your previous roles?

After my studies, I started in Aeronautics with certification of landing gears before joining Alstom, at the end of 1991, in the power plant turnkey business. Until 2000, I had the opportunity to work in all areas of Alstom activities; engineering, R&D, project management, logistics, production, etc. This gave me the basics for my future management positions in various large groups like GEA, ABB, AMEC and in various industries including automotive, process and energy. I have been in the transport business in Alstom for five years and I must say that it is a very exciting industry.

As well as your high level experience in industry, you also have previous experience of association management in Brussels. What were your key takeaways from that role and how do you plan to use the learnings in this new post?

Apart from my participation in many associations as a member, in 2004 I had the opportunity to create EPPSA in Brussels, turning a German boiler association into a European association.‎ I was President of EPPSA for over four years and we developed it both in terms of structure but also membership to the level it is still at today. Having direct oversight of the activities of the Commission and of the associated advocacy activity was so different from a management position in a large group. This experience will be very valuable in helping to maintain and enhance Hydrogen Europe’s position as a stable and leading association and in defining with the other members the future strategy of hydrogen in Europe. In addition, my technical background in many industries, related to transport and energy is key to understanding the challenges of the FCH JU program.

Alstom are working on some very exciting hydrogen projects in rail transport. Could you maybe give us more information on such projects?

Alstom has a leading position in Europe in the supply of regional trains and especially in diesel powered trains. Five years ago, we decided to launch the development of the fuel cell train after a detailed market analysis and strategic thoughts about the future evolution of the technologies and environmental constraints. This triggered four years of exciting development work and now the first two trains are manufactured in our plant in Germany. These two prototypes will be tested next year and used for homologation, before starting their commercial operation in January 2018. In the meantime, we are already in commercial negotiations with two clients for the purchase of more than 20 trains. Other customers are pressing at the door to secure the delivery of such trains for their future line operations. So as you can see, we are very advanced and the dream has become reality. I would particularly thank our partner Hydrogenics which is supplying the fuel cells for the trains and Air Liquide for supporting us for the two first projects for the hydrogen supply.

Finally, if you could achieve any single change in the fuel cell and hydrogen landscape in Europe throughout the course of your tenure, what would that be? ‎

I would be very happy if we could secure a third phase of the FCH JU, but in a broader sense, to make sure that hydrogen technologies are seen as an alternative to gasoline or diesel transportation ‎in the same manner as electrical vehicles and are the only economical way to transform power into a storable and liquid fuel. This might take more than just a term as a Board member but we need to have all an ambitious objective, no?

Facilitating Renewable Gas through the Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive

08 November 2016

Facilitating Renewable Gas through the Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive: Ahead of the European Commission’s revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, Hydrogen Europe and other organisations who are focused on renewable gases have carried out a scoping exercise. This joint statement outlines the role that renewable gases can play in the decarbonisation of Europe’s energy mix – and how this potential should be harnessed by the revised legislation. Click here to view the statement.

Chairman’s Message: Hydrogen Europe Turns a Corner by Reaching the 100 Member Mark

Brussels: September 2016

Following a high number of new joiners in the last month, Hydrogen Europe can announce that the association has surpassed the 100 member mark and now boasts 104 members based across 20 European countries.

In the last month alone Hydrogen Europe has welcomed eight new members into the association: 3 new companies, H2B2, HDF and Hydrogenious, and five national associations, from Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Romania and France.

Since its establishment as NEW-IG in 2008, Hydrogen Europe has grown steadily to form a fully-fledged trade association with an enhanced scope of work.  The association’s reputation and effectiveness is attracting key players in the European energy and transport sectors from micro sized highly specialised companies to global ones.

Marking the excellent success in the last month, the association’s Chairman Raphael Schoentgen commented: “This surge in membership is testament to the momentum Hydrogen Europe is generating as it drives hydrogen technologies towards full commercial deployment. It builds on several years of intense work of the members and support of all of our stakeholders. We are keenly aware of the strength of our diversity in geography, size and specialisms and we look forward to welcoming more companies”
Hydrogen Europe also supports members’ efforts to roll these technologies out; having worked, for example recently, with Air Liquide and Toyota on the refuelling station launch in Zaventem in the presence of the Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government and influential EU, media and industry stakeholders.

The association contributes to ensuring that fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) technologies are an integral part of EU energy and transport policy frameworks by closely following developments in legislation. When opportunities are identified these are fully embraced through development and implementation of targeted advocacy plans with notable successes already achieved in areas such as Energy Market Design. More broadly, Hydrogen Europe contributes to high level EU discourse through, for example, our popular and informative events series, Dating Hydrogen. These events highlight the role FCH technologies can play in key challenges such as decarbonisation of transport and improved energy storage for renewables to ensure their potential is widely. In the coming weeks we will be rolling out a new campaign to catalogue all our Members’ work in the fields of hydrogen and fuel cells with a view to further enabling collaboration and success in the sector, and also give additional visibility to all that has been achieved and the tremendous potential of hydrogen as a new energy vector for a wide array of applications and sectors of the economy.

With one of the top 40 most active energy transition Twitter accounts, Hydrogen Europe social media channels carry key messages far beyond the Brussels bubble. High levels of social media engagement on members’ successes, such as H2 Mobility developing 400 new hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany by 2023 also helps bring to the wider public a better level of information about these technologies that will be game changers.

Raphaël Schoentgen

Chairman of Hydrogen Europe

A great read – interview with Hydrogen Europe’s new Board Chair Raphaël Schoentgen who is the Director Research and Technologies (CTO) and Member of the Executive Committee at ENGIE.

608-Raphael-SchoentgenRaphael, a warm welcome into your new role as the Chair of Hydrogen Europe. You come from ENGIE, a utilities company working on a huge scale and with a clear commitment to green hydrogen. Can you tell our members about your experience in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology? 

Thank you. Let me first thank all of you for your trust and support in electing me!  Hydrogen is a captivating topic and I am convinced that together we will bring it to its next stage, building on what Hydrogen Europe has already achieved over the past years.

As regards ENGIE, we are involved in a number of projects that can basically be divided in three categories. The first one addresses the question of producing and mixing hydrogen with methane, either in gas transport networks, or local distribution networks. The second looks at hydrogen as a new energy vector for our customers. This covers its production for industrial uses, for mobility applications and for heat and power generation within homes and commercial buildings. The third category focuses on hydrogen as an energy storage solution as well as an energy vector, mainly for remote areas. In some cases we mix the applications and look at hydrogen as a new system. This is for instance one area of focus we have on our latest micro grid R&D project we just started in Singapore.

On a personal basis, I have been following hydrogen since the very first day in my current job and I am continuously taking part in discussions with colleagues and partners that are involved since years in the technology. I also coordinated the establishment of ENGIE strategy in the field.

Hydrogen Europe has a very broad membership base from large companies like ENGIE to micro ones – soon this will grow to include national associations too.  How will you use your role to coordinate and maximise the two way flow of information and benefits for all members?

As I mentioned during the election process, it is my strong belief that when it comes to the future of the hydrogen economy in Europe, we can only succeed via the development of an ecosystem which is made of large and small companies as well as of players of all countries supported by strong national associations. I will therefore push for joint projects that bring together this diversity of actors. As a representative of ENGIE I can confirm that other large companies are on the same wave length in this respect.

Your combination of extensive public and private sector experience will bring a fresh pair of eyes to advocacy for the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells deployment.  From your perspective, what do you consider the key challenges and opportunities in this stream of our work? 

What is key is to make hydrogen – and what we do – simple and easily understandable, and to think big in order to better express the full potential of hydrogen.

We develop complicated systems; the funding of our joint initiatives is also relatively complex, but all this should be seen as the “experts’ world” so to say and be kept within our community. What we need to do is to have simple explanations and messages about hydrogen and about the work of our community of Hydrogen Europe, which can be easily understood by all our stakeholders and channelled to decision makers. We need also to put in perspective all the benefits in terms of environmental impact and jobs. My past experiences have showed me that decision-makers need simple and powerful messages in order to boost actions.

So let’s work together on the big picture of hydrogen in 5 to 10 years from now in Europe, and from there develop a certain number of key messages and visions that can be easily shared.

Stepping outside the political and commercial arenas – if you could take one key point on hydrogen and fuel cell technology to the general public across Europe, what would that be ?

Imagine a new gas which releases only water vapour when it “burns” and provides you with power and heat. Imagine then that you can produce it simply from water with no environmental impact either. Imagine finally that we develop simple and silent devices which allow you to use it when you want in your home, your office, in industrial processes or in EV vehicles to increase their autonomy. This is the hydrogen economy.

New elected board

On 27th June the 97 members marked a new chapter in the history of Hydrogen Europe with the election of three new Board officials. The new elected Board will lead Hydrogen Europe’s advocacy activities and represent the industry’s interests in the European public-private partnership working to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technologies. For more information, please click here.

Bart Biebuyck: new executive director of FCH JU

A warm welcome to Bart Biebuyck, the new Executive Director of the European programme for fuel cells and  hydrogen (FCH JU). Mr. Biebuyck brings extensive experience with a world leader in fuel cell technology and member of Hydrogen Europe, Toyota, as well as a strong understanding of the technology. Watch Jorgo Chatzimarkakis’ discussion with Mr Biebuyck on the priorities for the Joint Undertaking and how he plans to engage industry, policymakers, stakeholders and consumers in order to drive hydrogen technologies towards commercialisation.

For more information you can see the FCH JU press release here.

Hydrogen Europe appoints first permanent Secretary General

Hydrogen Europe is delighted to announce the appointment of Jorgo Chatzimarkakis as its first permanent Secretary General. Mr Chatzimarkakis brings with him a wealth of political and managerial experience on both the national and European level. He will help strengthen the organisation’s position within political and policy discussions in Brussels and beyond. For more information, please click here.

Launch of Hydrogen Europe

On 19 November 2015, the New Energy World Industry Grouping (NEW-IG), the leading association working to make hydrogen energy an everyday reality, officially becomes Hydrogen Europe. For more information, please click here.